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British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland needs faster third Check

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The British and Irish Lions lost 27-9 in the Second Test with South Africa in what head coach Warren Gatland has described as a “frustrating” game

UK and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland says he will speak to the referee about speeding up the game ahead of the crucial third Test against South Africa.

“It’s important that we keep the flow of the game, also from the audience’s point of view,” he said.

“We want to see good rugby and we didn’t see it over the weekend.”

The ball has been the shortest time in play on the Lions tour, and while Gatland says their team want to keep the ball in hand and move away from set pieces quickly, he admitted the hosts would prefer a slower game.

“We want to keep the pace of the game up, get the ball in and out of the crowd, get the ball in quickly on the line-outs, play and get a flow,” he added.

“South Africa doesn’t want that at the moment.

“I know Alun Wyn Jones spoke to the referee several times about keeping it going.

“We had stud changes, we had TMO decisions, we had the referee who stopped the game because of cramps.

“That will be one of the things I will talk to the referees about this week when we argue – we have to make sure we can’t have 60 minute halves.”

The Lions won the first Test 22:17, but with the tied streak towards the final game, Gatland have made sweeping changes to the starting XI and want their players to rediscover their attacking intent.

“You want that flow in the game,” he said.

“We saw from other games that when we got that pace, we played really good rugby.

“I think we are a bit involved in the pushing and pushing and we have to stay away from it because we have to focus on rugby and let the referee make the decisions.

“We have to make sure we don’t grab each other and hold on to each other when guys run in, push players in the back and things like that.

“We have to ignore that and make sure we advance and play the game right.”

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